JUSTIN:According to reports, Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely..

According to reports, Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely to acquire their top trade target.

Dejounte Murray trade is “unrealistic” for the Lakers this season.

This season, with the Lakers reeling and in desperate need of a spark offensively, fans were hoping that Rob Pelinka would be proactive and find a trade before the end of the month. But as January comes to a close, and the deadline inches closer, it turns out that the Lakers are losing the trade negotiations and are currently seen as a longshot to land their most coveted trade target of the season.

Lakers trade rumors: Zach LaVine, Dejounte Murray among best candidates to  help LeBron James, Anthony Davis | Sporting News United Kingdom

“League sources say that there has been little-to-no trade dialogue in recent days between the Hawks and the Lakers when it comes to former All-Star Dejounte Murray,” wrote Marc Stein. “Trade talks tend to be fluid this time of year and can be easily sparked up again, but one source briefed on the talks termed the idea of Murray landing with the Lakers before the deadline, as of this Sunday, as “unrealistic.” Among the factors for that: D’Angelo Russell’s strong play this month.”

It’s not just that the Lakers are more hesitant to trade Russell, it’s also that they are showing some signs of life due to his recent play. D’Lo has been really hot over the past few weeks and his production is giving the Lakers a glimpse at what life could be like if he hits his shots consistently. Even so, there is still some lingering distrust with D’Angelo and the Lakers might be better off selling high before he hits his next cold streak.

Lakers Wanted Murray

At 24-23 this season, the Lakers are not quite at the level they are aiming to be. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis still healthy and playing elite-level baseball, the expectation was that this team would finish within the top six in the West. Sadly, that just hasn’t been the case this season for a variety of reasons. And while the Lakers have yet to make a trade so far this season, it’s no secret that they were making a push for Dejounte Murray, who is everything they are looking for in a point guard.

Unlike D’Angelo Russell, Murray has shown flashes of defensive competence in the past and if he can re-discover that part of his game, he’d be an ideal fit in the starting lineup with Reaves, LeBron, Davis, and Taurean Prince. So far, the Hawks haven’t been shown interest in any Lakers offer but it’s D’Angelo Russell himself who is holding up the trade.

The Russell Resurgance

For a stretch after the in-season tournament, D’Angelo Russell was struggling to the point where he nearly fell out of the rotation. With nothing to add on offense or defense, Darvin Ham had no choice but to bench D’Angelo and that’s exactly what happened as the Lakers experienced their worst stretch of the season. Recently, however, D’Lo has really come on and it has breathed new life into the team.

Up to 17.1 points, 6.1 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game this season, Russell has been, arguably, the team’s third-best player at times and the Lakers are at their best when he’s shooting well. As long as Russell keeps playing his role and hitting his shots, the Lakers don’t have to rush on any deal. In fact, they shouldn’t settle for anything less than a bargain if D’Lo is who they are giving up. For now, at least, it looks like they may end up keeping Russell which leaves Murray to end up somewhere completely unexpected.

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